Bidders to go head-to-head for Bacchus and his lover

This double-headed Roman sculpture of Bacchus and his lover Ariadne dates from the 2nd or 3rd century CE.

It was found in a Jerusalem antiques shop opposite the King David Hotel by a young British army officer, Somerset de Chair, in 1941.

He paid a deposit for the bust and gave his executors 18 months to pay the balance and collect it if he did not return from the battlefield. It was finally shipped home to Chilham Castle in Kent as “Wounded Officer’s Kit”, and then went to the family home in St Osyth’s Priory in Colchester.

Somerset de Chair died in 1995 and now his eldest son, Rodney de Chair, is selling the bust at Bonham’s on May 1, where it is expected to fetch between £60,000 and £90,000.

    Last updated: 3:51pm, April 18 2008